I got to yoga class at the YMCA quite early, so I set up my spot and stretched into my first downward dog of the day. Such a lovely feeling. I did a few more poses to warm up and then settled comfortably on the blanket in Sukhasana, a seated pose. With almost 15 minutes still to go before class was supposed to begin, I closed my eyes for a short meditation.
In the midst of the tug of war between simple silence and monkey mind that is meditation inside my head, I heard the sounds of people coming in and removing their shoes, laying out their mats and settling things around them. In the midst of purses jostling a bit, doors opening and closing, and feet padding around the room, what I did not hear was the sound of voices. In a place where I normally hear the low hum of chatter or higher tinkling of laughter, there was quiet. This usually-busy space, influenced by the presence of one body settled on one mat in one simple pose, took on a meditative feel.
When the teacher walked in close to 10 minutes late, the room’s silence had been broken. The last two class participants to walk in the door came in chatting and continued their discussion, although at a much muted tone. No matter. The quiet still felt good.
I had not intended to have an effect on this class – and in all honestly, I cannot say that I really did. But something did: the call of stillness, the power of meditation, the promise of quiet. The sight of a figure serenely seated with straight spine and eyes closed did all the work; I was a mere placeholder. But in those few moments, in my skin, in my bones, I felt the vibrations of this quiet flowing from within me move out toward others in the room. And in that flow, I felt the presence of the holy.